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Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution’ #1 gives us a glimpse of the next generation of DC heroes

Evolve or die.

Like the previous Lazarus Planet one shots, Next Evolution features four 10-page vignettes. They focus on relatively new heroes that have been introduced to the DC universe in the last couple of years. It’s exciting to see the spotlight on these newer, promising characters that are sure to breathe new life into DC.

SPOILERS AHEAD for Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1!

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The first story is probably the most anticipated of this issue. Written by Ram V, it features The Vigil, a new team hinted at to play a role in upcoming Detective Comics storylines. We start with Red Hood, chasing down a canister of Lazarus Resin smuggled out of Lexcorp. What he stumbles upon is the aftermath of an ambush by The Vigil. We get some nice scenes of Red Hood showing off his detective work, guessing what went down and how it happened, while the comic interweaves panels of exactly what transpired. Red Hood manages to chase down one of The Vigil, but they get away at the last second and we get a proper look at the group. There’s a shapeshifting character, an extremely fast acrobat – fast enough to dodge bullets, and finally someone able to produce massive electrical surges. Not much is said by The Vigil, other than “We’re not on opposite sides here, Mr. Hood. Not unless you want to be. We are…watching you, Mr. Hood…” The artwork by Lalit Kumar Sharma was top notch; it was very effective at showing the supernatural speed of the acrobat. The colors were bright and vibrant when they needed to be, while still keeping to a realistic palette.

'Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution' #1 gives us a glimpse of the next generation of DC heroes
Red Hod showing off his detective skills.
Credit: DC Comics

The second vignette features another newer addition to the DC universe introduced in the Robin series back in 2021. Flatline has the ability to absorb the powers of those that die around her. When the Lazarus Storms started, she began hearing a voice, calling out her name. She follows the voice to an industrial area of Tokyo and comes across one of Talia al Ghul’s safe houses. Inside is Ubu, the longtime al Ghul family bodyguard. Not surprisingly, their conversation turns to blows and four other ninjas join the fray. The story comes to a climactic end when Flatline finally finds the source of the voice she’s been hearing. She opens a vase containing the ashes of Ra’s al Ghul and he materializes in front of her. There’s a lot of inner monologuing by Flatline, which is helpful for those not familiar with her background. Most of Flatline’s jokes land, though some of them are a bit groan-inducing. The artwork by Laura Braga was great with fun action sequences.

In the third vignette, we find Amanda Waller and Dead Eye playing a game of chess on the astral plane. He’s looking for information about who and why someone sent the shapeshifter Everyman to attack him. When a Lazarus Storm begins, Everyman is transformed into Amalgam Man with new, hideous powers. Deadeye is also affected by the Lazarus resin, a blue energy now emanating from his hands. We learn that Waller sent Everyman after Dead Eye to help prepare him for troubling times ahead. She advises Dead Eye to kill him since his contract is indefinite. When Dead Eye defeats him in battle, however, he spares his life, tending his wounds and caring for him by a fire in the wilderness.

The Amalgam Man character design was excellent – it had hints of Doomsday with the bony protrusions growing from his body. The colorist Alex Guimarães does a fantastic job differentiating the astral plane with an ethereal blue glow. It will be interesting to see what plans Amanda Waller has for her nephew in upcoming issues.

Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1
Variant cover showing Red Canary
Credit: DC Comics

The final story features Red Canary, another new character to the DC Universe that was just introduced in last year’s Dark Crisis event. We see her as a normal college student, worrying about conflict with her roommate and studying for exams. When the Lazarus Storms start and she receives a text from her brother about wild pigs at the market, her curiosity is piqued and she skips her exam. When she arrives at the market and sees multiple statues come to life terrorizing the citizenry, she springs into action. Her friend Sideways joins the fight and they’re able to use his rift ability to get ride of the bulk of the statues. Though inspired by Black Canary, Red Canary doesn’t have any special powers other than her martial arts skills. She still manages to hold her own against the whacky effects of the Lazarus Storm and even saves Sideways from a gumball monster. It’s refreshing to see more of a “street level” hero, especially in the Lazarus Planet event since it can seem like every character is ultimately holding the fate of the universe in their hands.

This being the fourth Lazarus Planet one shot to be released so far, we pretty much know what we’re getting. If you’re at all interested in these characters and the role they may play in future stories, then this is worth picking up.

Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1
‘Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution’ #1 gives us a glimpse of the next generation of DC heroes
Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1
With great art, interesting stories and compelling characters, the future is certainly looking bright for the DC Universe.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Artwork is consistently good throughout the book
Strong writing makes the characters likeable and relatable
The overall Lazarus Planet event plot isn't advanced
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